History

Descriptions of the beauty of the Niagara region

Niagara! What a wealth of memories come thronging to you as you repeat the name! Some with visions of an emerald sea, filled with the eternal roar and grandeur of many waters; others with haunting melodies, quiet and tender as an Aeolian harp thrummed by an unseen hand. What a poem of blended power and beauty was here unfolded by Nature through countless centuries!

Descriptions of Niagara Falls from 'See America First'

Orville O. Hiestand wrote 'See America First' in an attempt to encourage wealthy Americans to see the beauties of their own continent before rushing off to Europe. Niagara Falls was a major part of his theme, both in the detailed descriptions of the waterfalls here and as a constant reference point for his descriptions of other places to visit.

The British capture of Fort Niagara

Washington Irving describes the siege and fall of Fort Niagara to the British in his 'The Life of George Washington, Volume I'

The French, the origin of Fort Niagara and the coming of the British

In his 'The Life of George Washington, Volume I' Washington Irving narrates the following events of 1750

Harriet Tubman using the underground railway at Niagara Falls to escape slavery

Sarah H. Bradford says in her biography of Harriet Tubman that "Her name deserves to be handed down to posterity, side by side with the names of Jeanne D'Arc, Grace Darling, and Florence Nightingale, for not one of these women, noble and brave as they were, has shown more courage, and power of endurance, in facing danger and death to relieve human suffering, than this poor black woman, whose story I am endeavoring in a most imperfect way to give you."

The trip behind Niagara Falls in 1854

In America the capabilities of English ladies are very much overrated. It is supposed that they go out in all weathers, invariably walk ten miles a day, and leap five-barred fences on horseback. Yielding to "the inexorable law of a stern necessity," I went to the Rock House, and a very pleasing girl produced a suit of oiled calico. I took off my cloak, bonnet, and dress.

The Bloody Run massacre of the British near the Whirlpool, Niagara Falls during the French - Seneca war

Crossing the suspension-bridge we arrived at the _V. R._ custom-house, where a tiresome detention usually occurs; but a few words spoken in Gaelic to the Scotch officer produced a magical effect, which might have been the same had we possessed anything contraband. A drive of three miles brought us to the whirlpool. The giant cliffs, which rise to the height of nearly 300 feet, wall in the waters and confine their impetuous rush, so that their force raises them in the middle, and hurls them up some feet in the air.

A poetical legend of the Indians of Niagara Falls

The guide related to me another story in which my readers may be interested, as it is one of the poetical legends of the Indians. It took place in years now long gone by, when the Indians worshipped the Great Spirit where they beheld such a manifestation of his power. Here, where the presence of Deity made the forest ring, and the ground tremble, the Indians offered a living sacrifice once a year, to be conveyed by the water spirit to the unknown gulf.

Clifton House Hotel, Niagara Falls in 1854

This celebrated hotel, which is kept on the American plan, is a huge white block of building, with three green verandahs round it, and can accommodate about four hundred people. In the summer season it is the abode of almost unparalleled gaiety. Here congregate tourists, merchants, lawyers, officers, senators, wealthy southerners, and sallow down-easters, all flying alike from business and heat.

Description of a trip to Niagara Falls in 1854

"Have you seen the Falls?"--"No." "Then you've seen nothing of America."

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